Real life viruses and Hollywood viruses are different. Real life viruses have uncomfortable symptoms. Hollywood viruses have mutant zombie vampires with anger problems. Real life viruses can be controlled by washing hands and staying indoors. Hollywood viruses are controlled by walking around with weapons, controlled explosions, and occasionally nuclear weapons. Real life viruses are a bit boring. Hollywood viruses can be fantastic. So after washing your hands, why not sit down, relax and see how the experts do it.
10 The Omega Man, 1971
Charlton Heston is pretty much the last man on earth. One of the few survivors of a global pandemic caused by biological warfare. A lone researcher (Heston) injects a vaccine of his own design that seems to be working.
However, the loneliness of being the only survivor drives Heston a little crazy and he spends most of the time barricaded in his apartment, which is piled high with weapons.
So far, so realistic.
However, when he is captured by these virus-infected mutants, whom he calls The Family, they put him on trial instead of attacking him, or at least a bogus trial.
Now it's getting a little surreal.
The family is led by the main mutant, a former television host, played by Anthony Zerbe, who has a disturbing Manson mood to him.
There are also many other strange things, including a lot of javelin throwing (given the abundance of weapons in Heston's apartment, it seems unnecessary) and a crucifixion.
However, the most worrying is the time that Charlton Heston spends shirtless for no good reason.
9 Blindness, 2008
Mark Ruffalo is a doctor who treats a man who has suddenly gone blind. The next day, Ruffalo also goes blind and realizes that the blindness must have been caused by an infection.
The virus spreads and causes an entire city to become blind overnight.
Except for Ruffalo's wife, played by Julianne Moore, who keeps her eyesight. In order to stay with her husband, however, she also pretends to be blind.
Blindness is a film about what happens when we become totally dependent on the kindness of strangers and how thin the veneer of decency can be, if it is everyone's own.
8 Outbreak, 1995
The outbreak published in 1995 concerned the outbreak of an Ebola-like virus in Zaire and was an immediate success. This was due on the one hand to the performance of his All-Star cast, and on the other to the fact that at the time of its release, Ebola of all places broke out in Zaire.
The virus spreads through a series of unfortunate events, not to mention the unlikely events that include a military cover-up, a smuggled monkey and its release into the wild, and a broken blood vial that releases the virus as effectively as Pandora and her box.
Actors Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo and Morgan Freeman, with star turns by Kevin Spacey, Donald Sutherland and Cuba Gooding Jr., the premise of the film was a little ridiculous, but the level of rejection among those who knew better should be exactly right.
7 I am a legend
How do you cure cancer? Simple. Give him the measles.
Barmy? Possibly. For some reason that has not been adequately researched, someone must have skipped the usual protocols for drug trials because next, measles wiped out most of the world's population. Oops.
Don't worry. Will Smith is a former soldier who became a virologist. That is, when measles turns his neighbors into mutant zombie vampires, he is trained to fight and heal them while trying to contact other virus-free survivors.
Living alone, only with his dog and a few mannequins for society, Smith starts to get a little crazy. He is plagued by the question of whether he is the only one to survive the virus. Could there be other people out there? I am Legend was well received both critically and popularly, and everyone praised Will Smith's performance. And his dog.
The mannequins were a bit of wood.
6 The Andromeda Tribe
The Andromeda Tribe is based on a novel by Michael Crichton, who was a doctor before working as a writer and therefore probably knew a thing or two about viruses. When a satellite returns to Earth, it brings with it a microorganism that causes blood to clot in the veins. Those people who do not die immediately are driven to kill themselves.
Obviously, NASA has a protocol for dealing with extraterrestrial microorganisms. For this protocol, code-named Wildfire, a crack team of scientists needs to be sent for investigation while the military prefers its own solution – let's nuclearize it. Isn't that always your solution?
The film focuses on the separation between science and the military and the dangers of developing rigid protocols to deal with unknown situations.
5 Contagion, 2011
This is a bit scary. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, Contagion is a film about the spread of viruses. It's about how difficult it is to contain them and how devastating the consequences can be if they are not contained.
The film was praised by scientists for its accurate portrayal of the difficulties in dealing with pandemics. The All-Star cast can help distract you from the impending collapse of society. The film has everything from politicians trying to downplay the seriousness of the epidemic, charlatans trying to sell homeopathic remedies quickly, to heroic scientists working 24/7 to develop a vaccine.
Soderbergh said that he was trying to make an "ultra-realistic" film about pandemics and their impact on social order. Job done.
4 28 days later, 2003
When Cillian Murphy wakes up from a coma after 4 weeks, the world is a different place. He walks the streets of a deserted London, wonders what has happened in the world, and looks for signs of life.
It turns out that an animal rights group accidentally released a chimpanzee with a highly contagious virus that causes extreme anger and loss of control. During the 28 days that he slept, society collapsed and the world was almost gone.
28 Days Later is not a film about viruses as such, but about what happens to society when normal life rules are suspended.
It is not beautiful.
3 Train to Busan, 2016
If you want a virus outbreak movie that doesn't take itself too seriously, you can take a train to Busan. As a South Korean action / horror film, he broke records for the size of the audience in Korea.
Imagine you are sitting on a busy train. A woman gets in at the last minute and looks pretty sick. The train barely left the station before the woman mutated into a zombie figure who then attacked the guard, who then mutated.
Not only that, but trying to quarantine the infected passengers in a railroad car. Your train passes burning buildings and other mutant zombies, so it makes no sense to get out. What do you do next?
Train to Busan has been described as "the best zombie movie ever" and has worked wonders for the popularity of South Korean cinema, although this is probably not that important for its train companies.
2 12 monkeys
What do you do when a deadly virus has wiped out most of humanity? Obviously, you're building a time machine and sending Bruce Willis back from a dystopian future to clear it up. 12 Monkeys is being staged by Terry Gilliam, so you know that it will be a bit strange too.
Brad Pitt is certainly strange. Just like the other inmates in the mental asylum, to which Bruce is quickly confined. Pitt's achievement earned him a well-deserved Oscar nomination for his achievement as an anarchist ecoterrorist with papa problems and a side effect of psychosis.
In truth, the film isn't really about a virus. Bruce Willis is the one who saves the world. Again.
And it's always fun to see that. But it's Terry Gilliam's direction, with his typical black humor and twisted ends and Brad Pitt's crazy male performance, that turns this film from fun to fantastic.
1 Death in Venice, 1971
Death in Venice differs from the others on this list not only in entertainment but also in art. Scene by scene we meet some of the most beautifully filmed pictures of one of the most beautiful places in the world: Venice. The film follows Gustav von Aschenbach, who takes the time to recover from a nervous breakdown in Venice, which – ironically – is beginning to feel the effects of a cholera epidemic.
Between the desire for a young Polish boy who lives in the same hotel and coping with a mid-life crisis, Aschenbach has flashbacks to his daughter's death and his career as a composer. The film's decoding of the protagonist's life leads us to one of the most moving and macabre ends of all time. The director Luchino Visconti (in the top 10 films about economic disasters you really have to watch out for The Damned ) has proven to be a true visionary in the production of this film.
Gustav Mahler's soundtrack is scary. beautiful, cheerful and breathtaking.
Watch this movie before anyone else on this list.
💰 Write for Listverse and earn $ 100! Here's how. . .